In This Issue
Planters, Old Railway Line and Poundbury Gardens crowned GCA Midlands, Wales & West winners
SOLEX buzzing with activity
Zest, Hex Living, Supremo, Eco Fuego, Pit Boss and 4 Seasons Outdoor win SOLEX 2024 Awards
Yorkshire Garden Centres to join the Tillington Group
Prosper bidding farewell to Yorkshire Garden Centres
30 years of student scholarships celebrated at Ball Summer Showcase
Dobbies Garden Centres seeks new National Charity Partner
Carbon Gold announces partnership with Westland Horticulture
How English gardeners have supported regenerative agriculture
Kate Ebbens is halfway though her 366 Running Challenge
Zest's outdoor entertaining collection to feature at SOLEX
Celebrate the future of garden retail at Glee's 50th anniversary exhibition
Zest ups the game on Mind fundraising with latest walk
Business Manager needed at Grimsby Garden Centre
The Old Railway Line raises over £950 for charity
Henchman debuts first television advertisement
Gordale reopens its Golden Sands Giant Sandpit
Ark Wildlife unveils new brand identity
Moda at Autumn Fair grows fashion accessories sector
HTA and APL members impress judges and crowds at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
Thrive’s corporate day with Robert Dyas plants smiles all round
Hannah Cook: bring on the plants, A Bridgerton Chelsea, 26 Page SOLEX Preview, plus more in GTN June/July issue. Read on-line here
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HTA responds to the result of the 2024 General Election
Hort-Talk: Groups and committees at the HTA
Taking centre stage in Floral Pavilion
Using wooden boxes to great effect
Gardening sustainably better for you as well as the planet
RHS Peat-Free Garden finds permanent home
The best of last week's
Cherry Lane acquires Salhouse Garden Centre near Norwich
Kaemingk UK showroom opens - Exclusive photo tour
Coolings re-opens restored Pump Garden at Wych Cross
Hillier furthers commitment to sustainable growing
Summer starts at SOLEX 2024 - GTN's SOLEX 2024 Preview
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How English gardeners have supported regenerative agriculture
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Modern farming is undergoing one of the most significant changes in history with the shift to regenerative farming. This method, which incorporates intelligent crop rotations, companion planting, and mindful cultivation practices, significantly reduces the use of chemical inputs. Central to this change is the recognition that soil is an asset, not a commodity and that soil biology plays a vital role in transferring nutrients to crops. Regenerative farming rebalances the excessive use of chemicals in agriculture, increasing nutrient use efficiency in soils and ensuring more applied nutrients ultimately reach the crops.


This transformation in farming practices is driven by a deeper understanding of our soil's condition, its capacity to sustain current outputs under existing fertigation regimes, the desire to increase soil carbon and the growing public sensitivity to chemical overuse in the food chain. Support comes from both the government, which offers subsidies to help soils recover from misuse, and from end users like Waitrose, who have pledged that its meat, milk, eggs, fruit, and vegetables should be sourced from regenerative farming by 2035.


Two key groups of beneficial soil microbes improve soil nutrient use efficiency: mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. These microbes convert nutrients into plant-available forms and perform other essential functions. Good farming practices can boost the microbial levels in the soil, and they can also be introduced into the farming process. Once applied, these microbes grow and replicate, seeking out specific nutrients excreted by plant roots and building communities.


PlantWorks is the UK's leading producer of beneficial soil microbes, manufactured at its facilities at the Kent Science Park. Originally a spin-out company, PlantWorks is now one of Europe’s largest producers of mycorrhizal fungi. It has developed a range of beneficial bacteria in collaboration with experts, which have been widely trialled in the UK to support regenerative farming. Unusually, PlantWorks has funded much of its farming research through reinvestment from the sales of its mycorrhizal fungi and bio-fertilisers to the gardening market in the UK and beyond under its Empathy retail brand. These products, recognised by gardeners as the most ecologically sensitive in the market, are designed to offer benefits to treated plants throughout their lifetime, improving nutrient and water flow, health, flowering, and fruiting.


Sold across the UK in over 2000 outlets, a significant proportion of income from this work has funded PlantWorks' science team in their research and development of products supporting regenerative farming. This initiative, which began in 2014, has now underwritten the development of products for most cereal and vegetable crops grown in the UK and has seen trials conducted across the main farming areas of the country. In 2023, PlantWorks signed a collaboration with Clayton, a well-established brand in the farming sector, to further invest in and promote its products under the NUE brand.


PlantWorks continues its mission in the hobby gardening sector. Empathy products are ecologically designed, pioneering the use of beneficial microbes in gardening, agriculture, and horticulture, strengthening soil biology, and reducing chemical reliance.

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